The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in Colorado Springs has just announced that a total of 242 cowboys and cowgirls from more than 30 states as far away as Texas have entered to compete in the 76th annual PRCA rodeo this week, Wednesday through Saturday, August 4-7, sponsored by the Gerry Volunteer Fire Department.
These entrants must be members of the PRCA and pay yearly dues. They must also pay entry fees for each event they enter, with those fees ranging from $90 to $300 depending on the event. They pay their own expenses such as travel, lodging, and food, and go home empty-handed if they do not win any money.
The competition involves eight events – bareback and saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, team roping, bull riding, barrel racing, and a first-time event in Gerry - cowgirls’ breakaway roping. The approximately $50,000 in prize money comes from the Fire Department and their many sponsors, as well as the entrée fees paid by the cowboys and cowgirls. Rodeo chairman Tom Atwell says that these are true athletes as this is the only sport in the world where you pay to compete and may lose money in the process.
The rodeo competition begins at 8:00 each evening in the arena, while the traditional beef barbeque dinners are served from 5:00-8:00 in the air-conditioned dining room. The midway, featuring more than 20 vendors offering everything from cotton candy and fried dough to Western wear and souvenirs, also opens at 5:00. The event is alcohol free to help keep it an enjoyable family event.
The midway also features fun for the kids with pony rides, face painting, sand art, and Pick-a-Duck, a water game where kids can win a prize by picking the correct duck. An autograph and photo session with the cowboys and cowgirls follows the rodeo each evening. There will also be a free kids’ rodeo at 4:00 on Saturday where kids, ages 3-8, can participate in rodeo related games under the supervision of the rodeo personnel.
Tickets for the rodeo competition or the dinner or a combination of both are available at the gate or online at the rodeo website www.gerryrodeo.org and by phone at (718) 985-4847 or 1-888-985-4847. Additional information, including a rodeo history, photos, news stories, and prices may be found at the above rodeo website.